Worship as a Liberating and Creative Event

Worship is one of the activities distinguishing spiritual communities – congregations - from other organizations and institutions in culture. The structure and purpose of worship is shaped by the history and theological ideas that form a particular faith tradition. Our faith tradition as Unitarian Universalists is expressed through communal worship whose aim is to invite the individual, in the context of community, into a deep and direct experience of conscience and God; and the, to fortify the individual and the congregation to live out the ideals and insights discerned. Unlike Protestant Christian worship, ours is non-doctrinal and non-creedal; hence, the responsibility of the church and its leadership is not “orthodoxy,” to represent correct belief to the believer. Many are the forms of worship and expressions of faith. And, unlike Catholic Christian worship, it is also not the responsibility of the church to stand in-between and “mediate” the Holy to the individual. The authority of the individual is what the covenanted community pledges to honor and uphold. Our faith tradition and the forms of worship that have arisen over the centuries emphasize the spoken word and the creative arts as a means to liberate the mind and heart; that the individual, in the context of the covenanted community, might discern truths for himself and herself, and find the heart broadened in its affections for the great diversity of the human family. Yet, worship, as an activity eliciting the expanse of the mind and heart, is measured by the fortitude and courage to translate that expanse into deeds of compassion and justice throughout the week. Below you will find an analysis of the liturgy of my current congregation, elements of that liturgy, sermons I have delivered in the context of Unitarian Universalist worship, and special liturgies I have created to celebrate the good news of liberal religious faith.

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